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Men's Basketball - Wed, Jun. 28, 2017

Valley City State University men's basketball coach Ryan Montgomery has announced the signing of seven recruits for the 2017-18 season.

All seven signed letters of intent to continue their education and basketball careers at VCSU this fall. The group features five guards, a forward and a center. Six will be incoming freshman while Jouvon Edison will be a junior after playing two years at Umpqua Community College in Oregon.

The 2017 recruiting class includes Logan Nelson (6'3 guard, Hunter, N.D.), Jake Skelly (6'2 guard, Grand Rapids, Minn.), Hunter McCalla (6'4 guard, Becker, Minn.), Antonio Maddox (6'3 guard, Minneapolis, Minn.), Matt Rudolph (6'3 guard, Bismarck, N.D.), Collin Trottier (6'7 forward, West Fargo, N.D.) and Jouvon Edison (6'10 center, Reno, Nev.).

The Vikings are coming off a 16-15 overall record last year in Montgomery's first season as head coach. He called this year's class extremely important for the future of the program.

"With a coaching change and new direction, the first class is the foundation of where Viking Basketball wants to go," he said. "Shooting was a huge priority when we evaluated these student-athletes, and I believe we added some great shooters. We also wanted to make sure these incoming players were able to gel with the returning players and build off this past season. We owe that to the upperclassmen, and we need to provide them with the best possible chance to win."

The Vikings will return eight players from last year's squad, including six seniors.

"We needed some size and depth at every position in this class," said Montgomery. "We struggled to maintain a high level of play this past season due to depth, and we needed to improve in this area. Lastly, all these student-athletes carry great character and we want this attribute thick in the VCSU program. I want to thank assistant coach Karl Sorby and VCSU's Dave Bass for all their hard work towards bringing these highly talented people to our program."

Valley City State University is slated to open the 2017-18 season Oct. 15 with a home game against Brandon University.

VCSU Men's Basketball - 2017 Signed Recruits
Logan Nelson - 6'3" Guard - Northern Cass High School - Hunter, N.D.
Nelson averaged 28 points, six rebounds and three assists per game as a senior, helping the Jaguars to a 16-5 overall record. The 6-foot-3 shooting guard was named All State, All Region and All Conference as a both a junior and senior. He was named Region 1 Senior Athlete of the Year and 1st Team All State after his senior season and was a finalist for the Mr. Basketball award. The Jaguars placed fifth in the state during his junior season. Northern Cass was a Top 10-ranked team throughout his senior season.

"Logan is a great shooter," said Montgomery. "He has a natural ability to score the ball and with his size, I believe he has a chance to be a high-level guard in our league. Logan was up for Mr. Basketball in North Dakota this past season and was Player of the Year in his region. His work ethic is second to none."

Nelson will pursue a degree in business while attending VCSU.

Jake Skelly - 6'2" Guard - Grand Rapids High School - Grand Rapids, Minn.
Skelly averaged 23 points, six rebounds and six assists per game this season as he led Grand Rapids to a 24-7 overall record, the Section 7AAA championship and a berth in the Minnesota State Tournament. A dynamic guard, Skelly was named the Duluth News Tribune Player of the Year and All Area Player of the Year.

"Jake is a winner; he will find a way in to win in almost all circumstances," said Montgomery. "He shoots the ball at a high level, and he moves without the ball very well. Jake knows the game and makes other players around him better. These are key characteristics to good point guards."

Skelly plans to major in athletic training at VCSU.

Hunter McCalla - 6'4" Guard - Becker High School - Becker, Minn.
McCalla averaged 14 points, six rebounds and four assists per game during his senior season, leading Becker High School to a 15-12 overall record. He shot 50 percent from the field and 47 percent from 3-point range. Besides excelling on the basketball court, McCalla is also an All Conference soccer player.

"Hunter is the best passer in this class," Montgomery said. "He loves to involve his team and is a very unselfish player. He handles and shoots the ball very well. At 6-foot-4, Hunter will be able to guard multiple positions while providing some mismatches on the offensive end after he gains some strength."

McCalla plans to study business while attending VCSU.

Collin Trottier - 6'7" Forward - West Fargo Sheyenne High School - West Fargo, N.D.
Trottier was named All Conference as a junior, and then as a senior he helped West Fargo Sheyenne to a 17-10 record and a sixth-place finish at the North Dakota Class A State Tournament. Trottier averaged nine points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game during his senior season.

"Collin is one of the best skilled players I have recruited," Montgomery said. "He can shoot the three and post up to score. He will help solve our size issue at 6-foot-7, and I believe he has the want to be great. He works extremely hard and is willing to do the extra."

Trottier is undecided on his major at VCSU.

Matt Rudolph - 6'3" Guard - Bismarck Century High School - Bismarck, N.D.
Rudolph recently wrapped up his career at Bismarck Century High School where he helped the Patriots to a 22-5 record, a WDA championship and a state runner-up finish last season. Rudolph was a key role player for the Patriots, shooting 52 percent from 3-point range (14-27) and 51 percent overall.

"Matt 'wants to be a Viking' and this really sold me on him," said Montgomery. "He has gone through some injury adversity and persevered without blinking. Matt can shoot the ball, and he is a highly intelligent defensive player coming from a great high school program at Bismarck Century. He has a chance to be a good wing in our league at 6-foot-3."

Rudolph plans to study business while at VCSU.

Antonio Maddox - 6'3" Guard - Richfield Senior High School - Minneapolis, Minn.
Maddox averaged 14.5 points, six assists, four rebounds and two steals per game this season as he helped Richfield to the section championship game for the first time in 11 years. Richfield finished the season with a 10-19 overall record. He was named All Conference and Conference Defensive Player of the Year.

"Antonio is another guy who 'wants to be a Viking.'He is really excited about VCSU, and we are excited to have him in cardinal," said Montgomery. "Antonio is an athletic guard who can do things we can't teach. He has natural ability and good size at guard. He played in a highly competitive conference in Minnesota and that will help him adapt to the college arena."

Maddox intends to study sports management and exercise science at VCSU.

Jouvon Edison - 6'10" Center - Umpqua Community College (Ore.) - Reno, Nev.
Edison averaged 9.4 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game this season at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Ore. He had season-highs of 20 points, 15 rebounds and five blocks as he helped the RiverHawks to a 20-10 overall record. Edison was named the Northwest Athletic Conference Southern Region Defensive Player of the Year this season.

"Jouvon is a true center we desperately needed," said Montgomery. "He will provide shot-blocking and finishing ability the 2017-18 team had to have. At 6-foot-10 and 230 pounds he is very mobile and can shoot out to 15 feet. I believe he will be a big presence for us this year."

Edison plans to pursue a degree in criminal justice while attending VCSU.